After six months, the 87 children who tolerated the baked egg in cake were challenged with eating a whole egg. All of them tolerated the egg challenge except four children (three developed hives and one had a flare-up of eczema).
Because most children outgrow egg allergies by the time they are of school age, researchers speculate that slowly exposing them to baked egg "might affect the natural course of allergy to egg."
Why baked egg? Researchers say that heated eggs may make allergens, which cause the allergy, less potent.
The study was led by George N. Konstantinou, MD, at the allergy department, Pediatric Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. The researchers say a controlled study (to compare treated children to untreated children) is in the works.
Researchers in this study also point out that even giving a child who is allergic or sensitive that has never eaten eggs "heat-treated" egg can cause severe reactions.
Usually when children are allergic to eggs, they are allergic to the protein found in egg whites, although some children react to the protein in the yolk.
The findings are to be published as a Letter to the Editor in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.